MORGANTOWN -- Two Monongalia County surgeons are facing a trial by jury for a gastric bypass gone wrong.
Frankie Crider, of Dillner, Pa., is suing Jack M. Bergstein and Stephen S. McNatt, both of Monongalia County, and their employer, West Virginia University Board of Governors, for personal injury after three surgeries and four years of pain.
In a suit filed on Jan. 17, Crider stated that on May 16, 2001, she opted for a Roux-en-y gastric bypass for obesity. However, there were complications during the surgery.
There were leaks in her distral gastric pouch that required suturing, and also, her distral gastric pouch was burned by an electrocautery. But no one told Crider. She checked out of the hospital on May 23.
Eight months later, Crider discovered something was wrong. She had stopped losing weight and actually started gaining, so she contacted Bergstein and McNatt.
They told her she would need a partial gastrectomy to reduce the size of her new stomach. So, Crider waited.
On Jan. 27, 2004, she had the gastrectomy. During the procedure, McNatt discovered that she had a gastro-gastric fistula, a leak in her stomach pouch.
Again, no one notified her of the fistula. This time, though, Crider never had a chance to check out of the hospital.
On Feb. 4, Crider complained of upper quadrant pain, fever, brown discharge, and McNatt and Bergstein discovered she had a fistula again.
They also found she had a bowel leak and an abscess in her stomach. They released her on Valentine's Day all patched up.
Filed by William S. Schweers, of Marrington, Schweers, Dattilo and McClelland, P.C., in Pittsburgh, Penn., Crider is seeking punitive damages for disfigurement, emotional stress, embarrassment, humiliation, anxiety, past, present, and future pain, suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life.
She is also seeking compensatory damages for lost earnings because of the months she spent in the hospital and medical expenses for her bills, doctors, nurses, hospitals, medicine, and therapy. She hopes the damages she receives will cover expert witnesses' fees, attorney's fees, and court costs.
Judge Robert Stone will hear the case.
Monongalia County Circuit Court case number: 06-C-39